1. Is it newsworthy? As the old saying goes, if a dog bites a man, it's not news. If a man bites a dog, it is! What aspect of your story is new? or significant? or interesting?
2. Is it timely? The more quickly you can report your story, the better. Because of printing schedules, stories normally are not published until eight or 10 weeks after they are edited. If you share information with us within two weeks or a month, it is quite timely. If three or four months have passed, the story will probably not be used.
3. Does it demonstrate diversity? We want to showcase the great diversity in SECC. We look for stories that feature women and men, a variety of age groups, culture and language specific groups, and the various geographical areas of our conference. We want to highlight both large and small churches and schools. Because this conference is large, we normally don't publish articles from the same church or school more than once a year, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
4. Is it innovative? Your unique approach to ministry may inspire others to try a similar ministry. How and when did the idea occur? What was involved in making the dream come true? What obstacles had to be overcome? Was it worth it? What are the results of this ministry?
5. Is it historical? Does the event reveal the longevity and positive influence of a church or school over time? If celebrating a particular anniversary, document key people, dates, and events in the past. What is the cumulative effect? How many students have graduated from the school in 100 years? How has the church persevered through difficult times? If it is a new or renovated building, how will it improve and expand ministry? Remember, history can be boring if it's just a recitation.
6. Is it interesting? Although an event may be recent, show the diversity of your school or church, or record a historical moment, it may be dull. What caught people's attention at this event? What made an impact? Was something appropriately humorous or exciting? Is there a tragedy, intriguing problem, or crisis to explain?
Why are some stories not used?